God’s people should be joyful. Knowing that Jesus holds the universe in His loving hands should make us confident in the face of current adversities or future uncertainties.
Joy under the Law
Even before Jesus, joy marked God’s people. Under Levitical law, Israel celebrated the Year of Jubilee every 50 years. All prisoners were released, all previously surrendered property was returned to its original owners, and all debts were canceled . Yet, the Year of Jubilee merely foreshadowed the coming of the good news of the kingdom of God.
Joy under the Prophets
When Judah was exiled in Babylon, however, there appeared to be no good news. They felt forsaken by God and oppressed by their captors. Yet, Isaiah proclaimed the same message that the law foreshadowed: “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives and freedom to prisoners; to proclaim the favorable year of the LORD …” .
Joy under Jesus
Yet, “the favorable year” wouldn’t take place for another 700 years. When Jesus launched His public ministry, He went to the synagogue in His hometown, Nazareth. The apostle Luke recorded: “And the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. And He opened the book and found the place where it was written, ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed, to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord” .
Jesus personified the Year of Jubilee. When the angel announced the birth of Jesus to the shepherds, he said: “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” .
Christ the King has come; we now live in His favor. Yet, our joy is often rooted in our ever-changing circumstances rather than in the knowledge of His presence among us. To what extent is your foundation rooted in the Year of Jubilee and Christ’s having come to dwell among His people?
 See Leviticus 25 |  Isaiah 61:1-2 NASB |  Luke 4:17-19 NASB |  Luke 2:10-11 NASB